It never ceases to amaze me that every time I attend a conference or event in Israel, I inevitably meet someone I had never met before who is also from the same central / south Texas region where I am based in San Antonio.

Last October, as I sat down to hear Texas Governor Rick Perry deliver an inspiring keynote at the WATEC Water Technology Conference in Tel Aviv, I looked over to my left and met Adriana Cruz, President of The Greater San Marcos Partnership.

During SXSW 2014, I reconnected with Adriana, as she spoke at an international event focused on the global startup economy. According to Claire England, who runs the international startup engagement initiative for SXSW, more than 70 countries, including Israel, were in Austin for the Interactive / Music / Film festival — the largest of its kind in the world.

Adriana is in the heart of what’s next in water conservation, green and agricultural technology, and is surrounded by open land that is ripe not just for development, but Texas State University’s STAR Park – a 38 acre advanced materials research incubator. The San Marcos region is right in between Austin and San Antonio and home to clean rooms; wet labs; instrumentation labs; and office space for research and development in alternative energy, biotechnology, clean technology, nanotechnology, and new materials.

Come Fly With Me: Texas BBQ, Lots of Fun and Fabulous Shopping Too!

In just about the same time that it takes to drive to Ben Gurion Airport to the heart of Tel Aviv, you can drive from Austin Bergstrom Airport to San Marcos, Texas where Adriana is leading economic development initiatives for what is now the fastest growing city in the United States. Austin is easy to get to. And if you want to get to Austin from Israel, British Airways flies non-stop from London.

Aside from aligning with the future in Adriana’s neck of the woods, the San Marcos region is home of some wonderful Texas BBQ and home of one of the U.S.’s premier outlet shopping malls where the likes of NeimanMarcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo and many high end brands all call home. If you come in the Spring and Summer, there’s some terrific water activities such as rafting, tubing and just plain old swimming.

Adriana has her eye on the future and looking to connect and collaborate with Israel. There’s a lot we can learn from each other, no matter where in the world you might be reading this story. I would encourage you to look at what Adriana is doing in the San Marcos region, and part of what makes Texas, The Other Holy Land.

God Bless Texas.

Read Start-Up Israel to keep your finger on the pulse of Israeli high-tech and innovation!